Transnational adoption: pros and cons

(Note Nov. 18: Looking over this entry, I realize that it may have a more critical tone toward Lydia McGrew than I intended or that was desirable. So I say: I esteem and respect Lydia. She is top notch, top of the line. In this entry I am responding to the arguments she has presented on this issue, which, no matter how well intended or well-thought out they may be, lead, as I see it, in a Christian-liberal, national suicide direction.)

Picking up from an earlier thread at The Thinking Housewife that I linked here, there’s a big debate at What’s Wrong with the World between (mainly) Lydia McGrew and Laura Wood on transnational adoption. Lydia is all for it, she believes in the maximum number of adoptions that will take children from bad circumstances in a Third-World country to good circumstances in America. Laura, while supporting transnational adoption up to a point, thinks it is a problematic issue because of the racial/cultural confusions it produces. Lydia is entirely unsympathetic to Laura’s racial/cultural argument, and her policy seems to have no inherent limit. Since there’s an essentially infinite number of children in the Third World whose individual prospects would infinitely improve if they were brought to America and brought up by loving parents here, I can’t see how Lydia’s reasoning leads to anything other than the steady transformation of America into a racial hodgepodge of African, Asian, and Latin American-derived peoples and the marginalization of the white race. Once again we see how the Christianity of many Christians leads to racial and cultural consequences that are indistinguishable from those of liberalism.

A world in which couples in one country are adopting children of widely different race and culture from the other side of the world, and doing so in very large numbers—I’d say that that indicates Something Wrong With The World.

- end of initial entry -

Bruce B. writes:

“Once again we see how the Christianity of many Christians leads to racial and cultural consequences that are indistinguishable from those of liberalism.”

Many? How about ALL Christians except you, Rockford, and that “kinist” movement.

LA replies:

If that were the case, then we’d really be finished. But it’s not the case.

Charles T. writes:

You wrote: “Once again we see how the Christianity of many Christians leads to racial and cultural consequences that are indistinguishable from those of liberalism. ”

Certainly. And I want to add that evangelicals are the people of “Fads, Feelings and Slogans.” FFS. Sounds nice.

Reading through the referenced exchanges at “What’s Wrong with the World”—plus my own experiences face-to-face with arrogant evangelicals—has led me to form a summary of these so-called “spiritual” people.

To summarize: If you do not go along with the current FFS in evangelical circles, you risk being marginalized as “un-spiritual” regardless of what timeless scriptural doctrine may say. Evangelical FFS is fascism dressed up with spirituality. Conform or risk accusations directed at your very person.

Leonard D. writes:

There is a strong inherent limit on the policy that Lydia McGrew is advocating: the desire of Americans for more children which they cannot conceive on their own. And also the energy and time it takes to raise children.

It does not strike me as comparable at all to the issue of immigration, for these reasons:

  • There is a practical limit on adoption, as per above; the limits on immigration are our politics and the desire of foreigners to come

  • Immigrants self-choose, which is both a strength (they are motivated) and a weakness (they are poor and all that correlates with it)

  • Immigrants have no sponsoring American who is financially responsible for them

  • Immigrants do not necessarily assimilate

  • Immigrants carry their culture and religion with them; adoptees get 100% Americanized

It seems to me the only real argument you’ve got, is that adoption can change the existing racial mix of Americans. This strikes me as a weak place to stand. Certainly, the case against mass immigration is about 1000 times stronger than that against transnational adoption.

Incidentally, it is my cultural observation that Asians assimilate very quickly, even immigrants. I also observe, although with many fewer data points, that they are melting into the white population. They marry white people, and have assimilated kids you can barely tell are mixed. And this happens with some frequency. Whereas with blacks, they do not fully assimilate, even when they are adopted.

LA replies:

You’re making reasonable-sounding distinctions, and let me say that I was not equating transnational adoption with immigration. However, there are significant similarities between them. What struck me was the absolute, unlimited character of the moral principle that Lydia was articulating. As long as there are any children anywhere in the world who would personally benefit from being adopted by an American couple, they should be adopted. With the open immigration advocates it’s a similar absolute moral principle: as long as any prospective immigrant in the world can personally improve his lot by coming to America, he should be allowed to come. (Or, as Bush sometimes put it, in economic rather than moral terms, so long as there are any prospective immigrants anywhere in the world who can undersell an American for a job, he should be allowed to come.) It becomes America’s responsibility to look out for the comparative well being of every person on earth. The principle is that America exists to transform itself for the sake of others (or for the sake of the economy).

Of course, the way adopted children enter and become part of America is different from the way immigrants come, and the numbers are very different. Nevertheless, if a major part of this historically white European country changes into a nonwhite population, whether by immigration or adoption, then it becomes a different country in myriad negative ways. Nonwhites by and large do not identify with the historic American nation. In order to have a country in which everyone fits, everything historically particular about America but be redefined out of existence, and replaced by universal democratic ideas and diversity. I stand for the principle that America must remain a white majority country that feels a continuity with its own history and the history of the West. That cannot be maintained if the country becomes nonwhite.

Also, it’s not just American and Western identity I’m speaking of. I also say that the white race is a value in itself that ought to be preserved. And I don’t understand white people who feel no admiration, love, loyalty, and sense of identity and membership in the white race, which is our race and the race that created our civilization. To me, the widespread absence of such feelings among white people today, their readiness to let the white race lose control over its own countries and cultures and disappear from history, is deeply, shockingly immoral.

Jordan (the pen name of a long time commenter) writes:

Laura Wood is a keeper, isn’t she? I wish more American women were like her, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon. She is willing to tackle the big questions head on, without fear, bless her. The BIG question I have for her is: what is in it for white European-American women of today to become “race-conscious”? Right now they have the law on their side, complete freedom, equality (they are actually doing better then men economically, especially if you just look at the under-30s crowd), opportunity, and, best of all, enough remains of traditional culture that they at the same time can completely drop out of the rat race and decide to be mothers and stay at home without, unlike men, any loss of cultural and social status. To top it all off, they are also tops on the beauty scale, with men of all races agreeing that they are the most beautiful of women. Really, given those facts on the ground, why would white women fight for a return to traditionalism?

Hannon writes:

This is a portion of a comment I left at 4W:

This issue may be a fleeting concern in the scheme of real world affairs but it is philosophically cogent, as the responses and comments here suggest. The racial and cultural aspects have been addressed in this thread already … but then it struck me—this is like the proposition nation in reverse.

I should have elaborated on that a little. If the bare idea of America and her values is something the rest of the world craves, as the neocons tell us unceasingly, then we must do whatever we can to export it to them. The mirror image imperative of this is to bring or invite whomever we can to America so they can partake of those same values which are tragically “missing” in their home countries.

Either way the message is the same: The USA is the greatest and we will make sure foreigners have the opportunity to engage, regardless of how different their culture is from ours, so that the disparities and iniquities of life can be finally subdued.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 17, 2009 12:57 AM | Send

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